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Smoking a whole turkey

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 

Doing Thanksgiving in August on Saturday. Smoking a 20 lb brined whole bird in my Masterbuilt 40" electric smoker. I know the size of the bird is large, but you work with what you got. Planning on running the smoker at 275 (highest temp it will go). I will be monitoring the temp with a probe thermometer, but just looking for a ball park figure on about how long it will take? First time doing a bird this big in the electric smoker.


Oh, and forecast is for rain - CRAP!!!! Looks like beers in the garage! 

post #2 of 9
Last turkey I cooked was a 15lb bird. On at 8:15 off at 1135 @300.
That was on an offset.
post #3 of 9

Figure 20-25 minutes per pound. If you don't need to do the Norman Rockwell table show, halve the bird and save a couple hours...JJ



Place a pan with some veggies under the Turkey to make some Gravy. Here's a recipe. 


Smokey Turkey Gravy


1- Lg Onion,

4-5 Carrots,

3-4 Ribs Celery

3-4 Peeled Cloves of Garlic

Toss them in a pan under the Turkey, and let the whole deal Smoke for one hour,

THEN add 4-6 Cups Chicken Broth,

1/2tsp Dry Thyme (4-5 sprigs Fresh)

1/2tsp Dry Sage (2 sprigs Fresh)

1-2 ea Bayleaf

Finish the Smoking process to the IT you want.

While the Turkey is resting, dump the pan juices, veggies and all into a 2-3Qt Sauce pot and bring the Jus to a boil, lower the heat and simmer 20-30 minutes. Strain out the veggies and let the Jus rest a minute or so for the Fat to rise. Skim off the bulk of the fat then using strips of paper towel laid on top of the Jus then quickly removed, take off the last little bit of fat.Bring the Jus back to a simmer. Mix 2T Flour and 4T Chicken Broth for each Cup of defatted Jus. Whisk together to make a Slurry with no lumps, add a little additional Broth if needed. Whisk the Slurry into the simmering Jus, bring back to a simmer and cook 5-10 minutes to cook out the flour taste and fully thicken the Gravy. Adjust the seasoning with Salt and Pepper and serve.

The purpose of Smoking the Vegetable for 1 hour before adding the Broth and Herbs is...The Smoked vegetables Roast in the Dry heat concentrating their Flavors and Sweetness giving the finished Jus a Richer, Deeper, Full Flavor.

Serve the sliced Turkey with plenty of Gravy and Enjoy...JJ


post #4 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks. That gravy recipe sounds wonderful!
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 

Thanksgiving in August was a success. Meat was great but skin was rubbery. Oh well. And the gravy - oh the gravy! Entire family loved it. Thanks for sharing.
post #6 of 9

Nice color on the bird. Pulling out of the smoker 10°F shy of done, then finishing in a 425 oven will fix the skin issue. I'm glad the family liked the gravy...JJ

post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks. I'll try that next time
post #8 of 9

looked good and looks like something i will have to try in the near future

post #9 of 9

I used to do them on a charcoal offset.  Aimed for a cooking temp of 225 - 250F.  I used maple syrup instead of sugar in the brine and brushed the skin with it a couple of times during the cook also.  Salty, sweet, and crispy.  Guests always wanted that skin.



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